As an object of daily life, your own car is subject to constant use, be it for commuting, shopping or visiting friends and family. And it is not uncommon for the opposing motor vehicle liability insurer to avoid paying the (full) damage after a – usually very costly – car accident. It becomes all the more difficult if the repair cannot be pre-financed out of your own pocket until compensation is paid. Time is of the essence - should you get a rental car right up until the opposing motor vehicle liability insurer has made a final statement and payment?
Rental car costs are one of the most controversial issues when dealing with traffic accidents. It is therefore important - even if there is apparently a clear question of guilt - to first look at the expert report carefully. This usually determines the duration of the loss of use of the vehicle as well as the daily rate that a rental car may cost, specifically: Duration and costs for which a rental car is an option.
The crux of the matter: But what if the vehicle cannot be repaired during this time anyway, perhaps because there is not enough money to pay for the repair?
In such cases, those injured in a traffic accident are subject to a so-called “duty to minimize damage”, i.e. an obligation to keep all potentially compensable damage as low as possible. This also extends to the duration of the rental of a replacement vehicle. The Schleswig Higher Regional Court therefore already decided in its judgment of January 04.01.2022, 7, case number 59 U 21/XNUMX:
“[…] However, the injured party is responsible from the point of view of the obligation to mitigate damages in accordance with Section 254 Paragraph 2 Sentence 1 of the last half. BGB has the obligation to inform the opposing motor vehicle liability insurance company in good time that a repair order cannot be issued without advance financing. […]“
The complaining injured party did not clearly inform the opposing motor vehicle liability insurer in advance of his lack of resources with regard to the repair costs. Rather, he took a rental car until the motor vehicle liability insurer made the final decision and payment - and ended up with the four-figure cost of a replacement vehicle for 113 days.
From day one of a traffic accident, it is therefore important to set the course for the claims settlement. A hasty decision, for example regarding an excessively long rental period for a replacement vehicle, can be expensive, as the Higher Regional Court of Schleswig shows. A test tailored to the individual case and an appropriate procedure are therefore crucial in the event of an accident.
Therefore, let our lawyers advise and support you from day one on questions and the enforcement of your claims in connection with a car accident.